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TNA Impact - Interview mit dem Ober-Wrestler

31.07.2008 / 00:58 Uhr / Marc Friedrichs

Mit "TNA Impact" dürfen Spieler mal wieder in die Haut eines Wrestlers und damit in den Ring steigen. Unser Xbox Community Network hatte nun die Möglichkeit, ein Gespräch mit Paul Interrante, Art Director bei Midway, zu führen. Was den Titel von Wrestlingspielen der Konkurrenz unterscheidet , welche Charaktere mit von der Partie sind, ob es eine deutsche Synchronisation geben wird und vieles mehr, erfahrt ihr im englischsprachigen Interview.

Apart from the wrestlers what do you hope to do different from the WWE games?
The most noticeable difference will be our easy to pickup controls and life-like motion captured animations. Fluidity of the game-play is also another area where I think TNA exceeds WWE.

Do you have anything special planned for Xbox Live?
Yes, lots of fun head to head wrestling, including Ultimate-X matches!

How many wrestlers are there in the game in total?
25 including all the top TNA talent like Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Booker T,AJ Styles, Christian Cage and Sting among a host of others.

What gameplay can we expect from your game? Will it be easy to do combos and spectacular moves without having to learn long button sequences?
Expect a very responsive and intuitive game-play experience. We included various levels of combo complexity. Some combos are easy to pull off and are very accessible, while others require a little more timing and memorization. Every combo in the game is designed to be very rewarding, but we did save the more spectacular moves for the combos that require more skill to perform.

Will we have environments interaction? Like going off-ring, throwing our opponents to the public, smashing them with chairs and so on?
Our environment interaction includes slamming opponents into barricades, throwing opponents into turnbuckle posts, smashing opponents with chairs, off rope attacks, edge of ring attacks, and swinging from the Ultimate X ropes.

The fighting genre has always been the best to showcase the consoles graphic abilities. What standard of graphics are you aiming for?
We are aiming for graphics that look so real you have to look twice to make sure it’s a game you’re playing. We actually had that response from a few of our test groups, so I feel we succeeded in that respect. I feel part of what got us there was the effort we made to retain any natural imperfections captured in our reference photography of the wrestlers, such as scars and skin surface variance. This led to an end product that was very believable and realistic. TNA wrestler Christian Cage couldn’t believe we even included one of the body scars he received in one of his fights at one point in the creation process.

Is there a spectator mode in the game?
No. This is a feature we are researching for the sequel.

Do you support the Xbox Live vision cam?
No unfortunately not.

How many players can fight online?
We have found some responsiveness issues when increasing the amount of players online. Since our game requires very accurate timing we are limiting this to just 2 players at this time.

The WWE games are obviously very well established in the wrestling genre – what have you learned from those games?
We have learned that there is plenty of room for growth. We feel that the game-play in other wrestling games has become very stagnant and we are here to improve the game-play experience in the genre.

Kurt Angle was reported to have been bad mouthing his former partners at the WWE. Do you think this was good for the game, as gamers and fans expect this sort of camaraderie from the superstars?
What would wrestling be without some sort of conflict? Look at the WCW Monday Night Wars. This kind of thing has been happening since the beginning of professional wrestling, so nothing new here. Fans expect this type of interaction amongst the wrestlers so I feel it won’t hurt the game at all.

WWE Smackdown vs Raw games have ruled the roost on Xbox 360. How hard is it to come up with new refreshing ideas for the flamboyant sport? Other than the wrestlers themselves, what will separate TNA iMPACT from its peers?
They only “ruled the roost” because they never had any real competition. Now it’s real, damn real. Besides the great visuals, TNA will be separated from the competition by its life-like animations and intuitive controls.

If TNA iMPACT can prove to be popular, do you think we're likely to see yearly version of the game?
We are here to stay, so you can count on it.

How much time has been taken at studying the wrestler and their moves, and are you using motion capture?
Most of the Midway LA team are fans of TNA, so we have a great understanding of what moves a wrestler would or would not do. We also utilized many of the wrestlers in our motion capture sessions to ensure that we get the moves perfect, so no guess work. Both AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were very vocal about the content because they are avid gamers so we had a ton of great inside information and input from them about the range of moves and the experience of matches like the ultimate X challenge mode.

How easy has it been to build the game around the TNA license, in terms of likeness, the wrestlers, the non stop action?
Very easy! The show was such a great blueprint of what we wanted to deliver as a game experience that all we had to do was copy the show. We really didn’t have to exaggerate the action much at all. Everything you see in our game has been done on the show. The TNA wrestlers are amazing athletes!

Does each Wrestler have their own moves and styles or do they all start out the same? Can we learn more moves as we go along?
Each wrestler begins with one special base style. The base styles can be categorized into Grappler, High-Flyer, or Brawler. Most of the wrestlers will have their appropriate signature finishers such as Rhino’s Gore, Styles Clash, Samoa Joe’s Muscle Buster, and so on. As far as moves go, there are plenty to learn throughout the game. All the moves that you acquire will be fitting for that particular style, so you will never see a brawler doing high flying acrobatic type moves for example.

Which Wrestler is your favourite and why?
All of the wrestlers we met have been down to earth and were easy to talk to, no big egos. I respect all of the TNA wrestlers but if I had to pick one it would be Chris Daniels because they say we look alike. I’m not going to shave my head to find out though.

We have seen a lot of YouTube videos with characters created by users of Sd vs Raw, but are you going to implement an easier way of uploading or showing those characters to people without an Xbox 360?
No, not at this time.

What´s the demographic target for your game?
Ages 14 through 25.

What about something like a Royal Rumble online?
No, not for this iteration. We definitely have plans to expand this in the future.

The obvious standard matches are in of course and there has been a focus on Ultimate X, but what other matches are there? What about Elevation X, King of the Mountain, 6 Sides of Steel, Lethal Lockdown etc etc etc?
Falls Count Anywhere, Fatal 4-way, and Ultimate X have been our focus this time around. We really wanted to make sure we get those right before expanding our match type list. We definitely have plans for more match types in the future.

Will the more recently established TNA Women's Division be in the game? Will there be any of the women on the roster?
Since the TNA Women’s Division wasn’t established until recently we didn’t have time to implement it this time around. We will definitely have playable female wrestlers in the sequel.

Will you use the original voices as speaker and commentator for the game like Mike Tenay and Don West (as English speaker) - and will you also use the original voices for the localised versions?
We recorded about 20 hours of Mike Tenay and Don West, so expect to hear them commentating throughout the game on the English language version. We are also using TNA’s Eurosport commentators for Germany, France, and Italy. The voice of Jeremy Borash will be used for all versions which include additional subtitles for the localized versions. Mike and Don also make a cameo appearance in one of our story mode cinematics, they are slightly disguised so you may have to keep your eyes open.

Which approach did you choose for the controller layout? A more complex one to have as many moves as possible or an easier configuration?
Our controller configuration is setup very easy so that anyone can pick it up and have fun with it. So this means that you will be able to perform very spectacular moves right from the start. On the flip side, there are also more complex moves that you will only be able to perform after playing the game for awhile.

Will there be an online "Fight Arena Modus" with more than one opponent?
Our focus this time around was to get 1v1 online just right, which I feel we nailed. There are only a few 60fps (NTSC) fighting games that even support online play so we are very proud to be able to deliver a great 1v1 online fighting experience.

Will we see DLC? If so, what can we expect and how often?
We are planning to have downloadable content but I can’t specify the details at this time. Stay tuned.

Will all moves be reversible? Can another player interfere between another person's moves?
Most moves are reversible and players can interfere with other players’ moves in most match type.

Are there customization options? If so, what are they? Can we create wrestlers, belts, movesets, taunts and/or finishers?
We have a full create a player system where you can make a custom wrestler with unique move sets. You will also be able to obtain various apparel and accruement variations throughout the game.

Is the game anything like WCW/NWO Revenge on N64?
No, we are striving bring something new and exciting to the genre. We looked at many successful wrestling titles and learned many things from them, but our game will not be like anything you played before.

Do you think that people who have no prior knowledge of TNA but are WWE viewers will buy the game and then start watching iMPACT!?
Yes, if you like our game then you would most definitely like the show. We set out to make the game as exciting and action packed as the show so players can enjoy the same experience they see on TV.

How did you manage to keep the game from feeling as if it is not just acting as a big budget advert for TNA?
We are a game developer and our goal is to deliver a great game and not an advert. Plus, adverts don’t have great gameplay and we do.

Do you think the fact that TNA is shown on a non-terrestrial TV channel in the UK will hinder the game at all?
A lot of the major shows air on satellite before they air on terrestrial, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Battle Star, Dexter, so I don’t really think there’s any hindrance whatsoever with the non-terrestrial element of TV. The UK TNA tour was sold out when it toured in June and the reaction from the UK press is already far better than we could have hoped.

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